Explore the most popular hiking trails near Garberville with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
2 months ago

The ocean view from the top of Lightning Trail is outstanding, but finding the trailhead can be a challenge. The Lost Coast area is not well marked with signs. Lots of switchbacks. Fairly strenuous with elevation gain. Fair warning, don't leave much in car. Some locals don't appreciate the tourists.

hiking
2 months ago

More like a 5.2 mile loop with 2,000 ft elevation gain if you start at the Lightning trailhead. Lots of pretty pines and red woods on the portion leading up to the loop. Going right at the split is mostly shaded to the top. On our way back down we were thankful to have hiked up on the right and down in the sun.

Loved being able to have our pup run around beside us. Only bumped into 1 other couple the whole trail.

Great view at the top of the mountain rage and ocean!

Took Kings Peak Road (dirt road) to get to the trail head. Super fun 1-lane dirt trail. Needed to use 4-wheel drive in a couple areas due to it being pretty sandy and washed out.

backpacking
3 months ago

From Eureka it was less than 40 miles to the trailhead, using 101S then cutting through Humboldt Redwood State Park to Honeydew, CA. The last 10 miles from Honeydew is all on Jeep trails. I’m not going to say a car can’t make it, but I would never try it. An SUV at a minimum with some ground clearance, 4x4 recommended. Having a manual transmission will also save your brakes on the way out. It took 2 hrs to drive the 40 miles.
From the trailhead the first Mile of the ridge is wooded. Starting uphill then descending until it opens up to grass. This is where you can start to see the ocean. Amazing view. We had to turn around at mile 2 because the dogs paws got gummed up with sap and stickies. Had to carry her out. If you bring your dog, bring booties. We had intended on camping down near the beach on Spanish Flat, maybe next time.

It’s obvious not a lot of people use this trail, lots of wildlife. We walked up on a deer, a quail with her 6 babies, a massive black bear, and squirrels.

4 Stars for the first 2 Miles, will update when we complete it.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful and remote! This is the closest trail on AllTrails that matches what we did (and the maps on here don't show the trails accurately, so make sure to use the official BLM maps, or something similar. For example, those found here: https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/california/king-range-national-conservation-area).

We spent a couple nights here in Feb 2017. Took just about the hardest way possible for a day at the beach. Started in the late afternoon from the Lightning Trailhead and spent the night at Maple Camp. Next morning, hiked to King Peak via the King Crest Trail, then headed south and set up our tent at Bear Hollow. Afterward, we hiked to the beach via the Rattlesnake Ridge Trail, then hiked back up the ~2500 feet to Bear Hollow for the night. Headed out the next morning.

Many of the trails are very steep and arduous (lots of elevation gain and loss, but many switchbacks). Overall, trails are in good condition. Some areas where the trails run along steep slopes have eroded and there's a bit of sketchy side-hilling. Due to the steep topography, the two camping areas we used had very limited space. Just enough for a few tents. No problem for us because no one else was camped at either spot.

The views were spectacular, there are many beautiful little creeks flowing in winter, and the beach was great. After a tough hike, during which we only saw one other person, we were surprised to see a house on an inholding of private land at the beach (must be accessed only by boat or aircraft).

Some sections of the trail along Big Flat Creek were hard to find due to erosion from last year's big winter. However, we figured out that the trail crosses the creek several times while making its way to the ocean. At most crossings, there were large cairns on the shoreline to indicate crossing points.

The roads to get to the trailhead were in decent shape (and would be no problem at all for a 4x4 vehicle with some clearance). We took a little Honda Fit and *barely* made it though in a few areas due to road erosion. However, we noticed that the road was in the process of being graded on King Peak Rd closer to Shelter Cove.

Overall, a great experience. It was hugely helpful to have loaded geo referenced PDF maps onto my phone prior to the trip (I recommend Avenza or Gaia GPS). Those maps helped guide us when traditional navigation apps failed. With good map reading skills or good digital maps, a vehicle with some clearance, and patience, no problem. Expect road erosion and a long, slow drive to get to some of the trailheads once you're off the pavement!

on King Peak Trail

hiking
Sunday, September 24, 2017

hiking
Friday, April 22, 2016

This trail is awesome! It climbs up to breath taking 360 degree views over looking the Lost Coast Redwoods and the wild Pacific Ocean.

hiking
Monday, June 02, 2014

I did a portion of this trail, swung down to the coast via Rattlesnake Ridge, hiked to the south and came back up Buck Creek.

hiking
Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Hiked this trail as part of a longer Lost Coast trip in the King Range wilderness area. It's a strenuous climb, especially with a full pack, but the ocean and mountain vistas are worth it. It was very cold and windy at the peak even though the weather going up most of the ridge was very pleasant.

hiking
Tuesday, May 08, 2012

I didn't follow this exact trail, but took a different route. A four-day trek beginning at Shelter Cove. Camped the first night at Buck Creek and hiked the next day to King Peak at 4,000 ft. Camped at Miller Loop camp where there is a freshwater spring nearby. Hiked from there down Kingsley Ridge and back to the beach where I spent the third night. From there, I travelled along the beach to Horse Mountain Creek where I spent the last night before the short jaunt back to Shelter Cove.
For the sheer variety of terrain, foliage, and vistas, this is a great trip. Saw whales a few hundred yards offshore, some barking sea lions, thousands of lizards, a snake, deer, a 6-inch long millipede. Also saw a dead river otter and a deal sea lion being eaten by turkey vultures and crows. Alas, I didn't see any bears (bear cans are required), but did see some bear paw prints in the sand. This route was very strenuous, especially the trek with a full pack from sea level to King Peak.

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

hiking
3 months ago